Thales Leites vs. Tom Watson official for UFC 163

Josh Hedges, Getty Images via Zuffa LLC

Former middleweight title challenger Thales Leites makes his UFC return against England's Tom Watson at UFC 163 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Another fight has been added to UFC 163 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Former #1 middleweight contender Thales Leites returns to the UFC after a 4 year absence, and he'll take on England's Tom Watson on August 3rd. The UFC made the fight official on the UFC 163 webpage.

Leites (20-4) has won 6 of his last 7 fights, and his lone blemish, a submission loss to Matt Horwich, was later avenged with a submission win of his own in March 2012. Injuries have prevented him from fighting since then, but he's now healthy enough to both compete again and do so in the UFC. Leites was previously released by the UFC after two horrible fights against Anderson Silva and Alessio Sakara, losing both (the latter a controversial decision).

Watson (16-5) is a former BAMMA middleweight champion who is coming off a FOTN performance against Stanislav Nedkov at UFC on Fuel 7 in London, winning by 2nd round TKO. That gave "Kong" his first UFC win and staved off any potential release of his own after dropping his debut against Brad Tavares. The Englishman prefers to strike, so consider this a striker vs. grappler matchup.

UFC 163 is headlined by a featherweight title fight between Jose Aldo and Anthony Pettis. It is likely that Leites/Watson will be on the preliminary card, but the official bout order won't be known for a few weeks.

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